30 June 2014

Last Day Local: Binder Park Zoo

Getting up close and personal with giraffes, May 2011

Summertime, when my children were younger, meant it was time to visit our local zoo, Binder Park Zoo.  I have many happy memories of taking Kirsten and Travis to the zoo.  We would go to the zoo enough that we bought a yearly family pass.  The family pass was about $35 a year in 1990 and we could go as many times as we wanted to each summer.  Plus, it was accepted at other zoos across the nation.

Binder Park Zoo is located outside of the Battle Creek city limits in Emmett Township, at 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, Michigan.  The zoo is located in a densely, wooded area that includes wetlands.  The natural beauty of the area has been preserved as much as possible.

Kirk, Travis and Kirsten riding the rails!

The parts of the zoo that our family enjoyed included seeing the monkeys, lemurs and zebras; riding the train through the woods, sometimes you could see the wolves from the train; eating dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets at Beulah's Restaurant, climbing the spider web in Miller's Children Zoo; and stopping at the gift shop on the way out of the zoo.

 Having the spider web all to themselves, a rarity.  Unfortunately, the spider web is no longer at the zoo.

A Dinosaur Photo Op with Kirsten and Travis 

 Peacock strutting its' stuff, Travis isn't too sure about turning his back on it.  Kirsten is smiling pretty.

The zoo was/is a great place to take visitor's as we did when my niece, Brianna; sister, Nancy; and brother-in-law, Scott visited.

Travis, Myself, Brianna, and Scott feeding the goats in the children's part of Binder Park Zoo. 

Kirsten, Brianna, and myself-another photo op.

Summer Zoo Camp was another favorite part of our summer.  Kirsten and Travis would sign up for five mornings of fun at the zoo that included seeing the animals, playing games, creating art projects, and more. They would receive a t-shirt and make a name tag out of a slice of tree bark, which I still have.

The zoo is open to visitors from April to October, but offers other activities throughout the year.  Zoo Boo is held for two weeks at the end of October.  The zoo is decorated for Halloween and children can walk through the zoo and trick or treat.

Kirsten and Travis at Binder Park Zoo Boo

Education is a big part of Binder Park Zoo and one way they take the zoo to the community is through the Zoomobile.  The Zoomobile will visit local classrooms, and senior citizen facilities and share their resources in a classroom or assembly setting.

Binder Park Zoo is one of Battle Creek's treasures, it is a great place to spend the day.  I know we spent many days there as our children were growing up.

(This blog post is to celebrate the history of Battle Creek, Michigan, my hometown for the past 25 years.  I try to post one article a month, on the last day of the month, on the heritage and history of Battle Creek, The Cereal City!)

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